As all of her teammates can attest, Erin Hudson ’18 is a talented runner and hard worker. After picking up running just over one year ago, she has already earned a top spot on the varsity squad, contributing week after week to the team’s success.
Hudson has been running since she was younger, but had never competed until she came to Deerfield last fall as a new junior. After playing soccer for most of her life, Hudson decided to switch because she “thought [she] might be good at running and it felt like it was time to try something new.” Upon reflection, Hudson noted that “It was a great decision and even though it’s a really hard sport, it feels like I was meant to do it!”
Hudson had a stress reaction in her right tibia from serious shin splints the summer before her senior season. Not being able to run for nearly a month and a half, Hudson was not optimistic about the season. Thanks to the work of the athletic trainer’s office, Hudson was able to make a quick recovery and returned to racing after only missing one meet.
After returning to the course, Hudson exceeded her own expectations and quickly regained her number three spot on the team. She has seen great success since her return, leading the team to an unbelievable six-meet win streak.
Hudson attributes most of her success to her coach, Dr. Dennis Cullinane. “Dr. C cares so much about the team and it shows. He has so much knowledge about running because of his personal success in the sport. He was also very conscious and supportive of me throughout my injury.”
Teammate Nora Markey ’18 noted that, “Even though she is not a captain, she is an integral part of the team. She is a very hard worker and it is incredible how well she is doing considering her injury.”
Another teammate, Victoria Patterson ’20, also acknowledged how impressive Erin’s success is, commenting that, “Even though she has only been running competitively for a little over a year, she is a national class runner and has a natural competitive drive.”
Hudson has developed into a vital leader for the team, providing guidance to runners new and old. The team gained a number of talented freshmen this year, which Hudson said is “Super fun. We’ve had a lot of younger kids step up to the plate which is great to see.”
Now that the team has ended their regular season undefeated with nine wins, the girls are focused on the New England Interscholastic meet at Choate on November 11. “We really want to win New Englands. We snatched a tight win over Andover two weekends ago, but they will be our main competition as we head into Interscholastics,” Hudson noted. A win at New Englands this year would be the team’s first since 2013.
Markey mentioned that, “A win at New England’s would be huge for the seniors this year. We are such a talented class, and it would be great to go out with a bang.”
Hudson, Markey, and the rest of the cross country team continue to train with Dr. Cullinane in hopes of taking away the first place position on Saturday.